China Day 16 – Shanghai

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We awoke to the now familiar sound of a phone ringing and the undecipherable voice of a Chinese wake up call. After a beautiful night’s sleep in our groovy new hotel rooms, we sleepily arose from the best beds we’ve had in weeks. The day was still young yet we were all looking forward to what we had heard was going to be an amazing day and what a day it was.

As we packed our bags for the 12 hour day ahead of us, we could feel the hunger setting in. When we arrived at breakfast we could not hold back our tears of joy when we saw the feast which was waiting for our hungry stomachs. Breakfast was complete with everything from Milo cereal to steamy pork buns. It was the banquet we had all dreamed of the night before.

As the clock struck half past nine we were well on our way to our first destination, The Bund. After a cramped subway journey, we arrived at Nanjing Road. From there we began our walk to the Shanghai river front, commonly known as The Bund. The Bund displays what many think to be the perfect contrast of the old and modern sides of Shanghai. Boasting old architectural feats of the British concession on one side and amazing modern structures such as the Pearl Oriental T.V Tower on the other, it truly is a sight worth seeing.

We then travelled across the Bund in an underground tunnel, featuring an amazing light show, to the base of the Pearl Oriental T.V Tower where we ascended to the startling yet awesome height of the viewing deck. The glass bottomed floors of the viewing deck challenged even the bravest of the group.

Following our nail biting experience we were then taken to the Yu Garden market where we were given a full 2 hours to explore the miscellany of stores that lined the area. Following another round table meal, we were treated to a breath-taking river cruise which displayed a night view of Shanghai.

Over the course of the day we students enjoyed the lovely contrast of what is Shanghai by day and by night. We then embarked on our tiresome journey back to our swanky hotel via subway. The importance of plane groups became a vital tool in keeping the group together through the hustle and bustle of Shanghai’s Metro. The hotel was a welcome sight as our group of 28 students dug deep to find the energy to drag their sore feet to their ritzy rooms.

What turned out to be one of the longest days of our trip also became one of our most memorable. The sights of Shanghai, by day or by night, are truly spectacular.

By Jordan Loschiavo and Oscar Garrington


Fiji Travel Update 2

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The Fiji trip is now getting on the bus (11:55pm) at Melbourne airport so should be arriving back at the College at approximately 12:35am tonight.

Vietnam Red: Our last blog entry

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The trip to Vietnam really helped to show me that everyone, everywhere face similar problems and issues. We share the same values of family, safety and security. All that is different is the cultural approaches in dealing with the issues people face


In Vietnam I learned about their amazing culture and ways of living especially in the village.  It has opened up my eyes to a whole new way of living for me.

Lucy Jackson

I once thought it was impossible to fall in love with a place but I stand corrected.  During this shared experience I made many new friends. I enjoyed the language, the landscape, the food and the loving nature of the Vietnamese people. It was truly amazing whether in Hanoi or the village, Ha Long Bay or Ho An, Hue or Ho Chi Minh. All had their own charm and excitement.


Before going to Vietnam I didn’t think that I would be able to communicate with the people, but I have found that using hand signals and facial expressions went a long way.

Lucy D

I thought Ha Long Bay would just be a fun activity as part of our Big Experience trip.  Instead I experienced a perfect moment in a beautiful and unique environment. Watching the sunset in Ha Long will stay with me for life.


This Big Experience has shown and taught me about Vietnam through experiencing the culture that I couldn’t have found out any other way.  By living with the people and travelling to many different parts, I learnt so much about the people, the food and their way of life.


I learned that the most important thing in life is being with people and caring about each other. You don’t need money or expensive products but strong bonds and relationships.


Before Vietnam I would never have gone abseiling.  I conquered my fears and would now do it again.


I used to think that Vietnam was just another Asian country, but now I think it is an amazing country full of eye-opening experiences and its own diverse culture.


Anyone can live happily anywhere so long as there are people.

Ben S

Before going to Vietnam I thought that the people would be unfriendly and hostile towards Australian people due to our involvement in the Vietnam war, but I found out they were friendly towards foreigners.


I used to think the Vietnamese would be unfriendly to westerners but actually they were very nice which was humbling.


After visiting the War Museum I was overwhelmed by the effect Asian Orange had on the people on both sides of the conflict. I have learned to accept what I have and be happy with what I’ve got as other people have it far worse.


Even if you can’t speak the language you can still communicate.  I now know that I would be able to travel the world and experience what I did in this trip.


I didn’t really know what to expect.  Going to different places, seeing all sorts of things has made me appreciate the people of Vietnam.  This is an experience I will never forget.


Vietnam has taught me more than I ever thought possible.  I have learned that I as a person am stronger than I thought that people in all corners of the globe share the same human spirit, so we can all understand each other.  The laughing and smiling faces across the country taught me that.


My first thoughts on Vietnam were that it was an impoverished society that counted on others for help.  In Vietnam I found the sense of community spirit overwhelming as a whole and I enjoyed every minute.


I felt Vietnam gave me a whole new perspective on how people live their lives and what they go through just to make a living and to feed their families.  Everyone seemed to be busy working from the young to the very old; from farming rice to selling goods.


Vietnam was another world, totally different from our suburban life but it’s only by diving headlong into another culture can you come to identify your place in life.  In Vietnam I met parts of myself that I haven’t seen before and I hope to know them better back home.


This trip will be something I will always remember.  My view on the word has changed and I am so grateful for what I have now, more than ever.


They have a great sense of neighbourhood love. When we were in the village; all of the neighbours came to help us build the house.


This trip to Vietnam has taught me so much about the culture and the people.  The people I have met on the trip both within our group and the Vietnamese community made it an excellent and rewarding experience.


Before this trip, Vietnam was just another Asian country, now it means so much more to me.  I have a much better understanding of the people, the countryside, the cities and the food.


In Vietnam I found that 20 thousand dong can go a long way.  They don’t have as much as we do but they are still happy.

Ben M

I used to think that people couldn’t live without luxuries.  I was wrong after I saw the way the people live in the village.


In Vietnam I learned how privileged I am education-wise compared to the greater majority of the Vietnamese people.


The Vietnam trip was the best experience of my life.  We learned about another culture and our group has become like one big family.


Vietnam used to be a war for me.  Now it is a paradise of culture, people and food.


It has opened my eyes to a new way of life, food, people and experiences that I appreciate.


Before Vietnam I only had taste for western culture.  After living in a remote Vietnamese village it has broadened my thinking on life and made me more mature as a person.  I am grateful for the opportunities I have in Australia.

Fiji Travel Update

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The flight from Fiji has just landed (10:45pm). We will attempt to update this post with an estimated time of arrival at the College later this evening.

Borneo Travel Update

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The Borneo flight is scheduled to arrive about 20 minutes early (8:50pm was 9:10pm). We will attempt to update this post with an estimated time of arrival at the College later this evening.

UPDATE: The Borneo group are about to jump on the bus (10:00pm) at Melbourne airport so should be arriving back at the College at approximately 10:45pm.

Day 15: Ho Chi Minh City

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The following photos were taken on the last night of our stay in Ho Chi Minh City. The students purchased their dresses and suits in Hoi An.

Daniel, Rachael, James and Josh

Christian, Darcy, Josh, Jack and Josh

Emma, Paula, Allie and Sara

Some of the girls prior to going out for dinner

Emalie, Steph, Tarryn and Ruby

Rhiannon and Laura

Emma, Becky and Tiana

Laos and Cambodia Travel update

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The Laos and Cambodia group have landed about 40 minutes early (12:44pm)! We’ll update this post as soon as we have an estimated time of arrival at South Road.

UPDATE: The Laos and Cambodia group are on the bus now (1:45pm)! They’ll arrive at South Road at approximately 2.20pm.

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